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Table Mountain and Cape Town Harbour, South Africa

Along the South-African coastline

Cape Town to Durban - Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Le Lyrial (CDP)
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At the crossroads of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, embark aboard Le Lyrial on a 9-day cruise between Cape Town, mother-city of the country, dominated by Table Mountain, and Durban, a cosmopolitan seaside city. This journey in South Africa allows you to discover Port Elizabeth, nicknamed "the friendly city" for its welcoming inhabitants, and Richards Bay. A land of ethnic diversity, South Africa is often described as “a world in one country”. Its incredible melting pot of cultures, religions, and histories infuse its rich heritage. The diversity of fauna and flora is also one of South Africa's treasures: the nation is home to three of the largest terrestrial mammals—the elephant, rhinoceros, and hippopotamus—and its plant life alone represents one-tenth of the world’s botanic heritage, with some 25.000 species.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Cape Town, South Africa | Embark
Day 2 : Cape Town
Day 3 : At Sea
Days 4-5 : Port Elizabeth
Day 6 : At Sea
Day 7 : Richards Bay
Day 8 : Durban
Day 9 : Durban, South Africa | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit the beautiful Robben Island, a tiny UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Discover Cape of Good Hope and look over its immense white sandy beaches
  • Admire the emblematic species of the Africa during a safari in a reserve
  • Explore Phezulu Safari Park and the history of the traditional Zulu tribes

Ship

Le Lyrial (CDP)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Table Mountain and Cape Town Harbour, South Africa Sunset over Century City, Capetown A herd of elephants of all sizes make their way across the valley. Great White Shark in Durban Family viewing wildlife on an African safari

Day 1 Cape Town, South Africa | Embark

Dynamic and peaceful, cosmopolitan and hip, Cape Town offers its visitors a unique mix. Here, the locals like to say that their city is “the quintessential melting pot of South Africa”. Located in the heart of one of the most beautiful bays in the world and dominated by the famous Table Mountain, it is graced with extraordinary landscapes including sheer cliffs that plunge into the Atlantic Ocean and vast white sandy beaches. Discover this incredible city, the South African capital of fashion, the art of living, and gastronomy. Further on, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve awaits you and is home to a wide variety of endemic fauna and flora.

Day 2 Cape Town

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Optional Excursions: 

WALK TABLE MOUNTAIN

Depart from the pier for your transfer to the Lower Cable Way Station. On arrival meet your guide and take the cable car to ascend from the Valley Station (363 m) to the Mountain Station
(1 060m). The journey from the base to the summit takes just under 4 minutes and one can enjoy spectacular views, as the floor of the car rotates 360 degrees during the ascent and descent.
Table Mountain gets her name from the flat-topped central massif of the mountain, which viewed from the city, is surrounded by Devil's Peak on the left, Lion's Head on the right and Signal Hill in the foreground. They form a sort of amphitheater that encloses the city center and some of the older suburbs. Other earlier suburbs are on either side of the chain of mountains, which run like a spine through the Cape Peninsula, from Table Mountain to Cape Point - the cape from which Cape Town gets its name.
After spending a few minutes at the upper cable station and taking in the views, continue on foot towards the highest peak on Table Mountain, which is only an extra 26 meters above the cable car station.  This being the highest point towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear's Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey.  The circular circuit gives you the opportunity to view the City of Cape Town and some of its historical landmarks; Table Bay and Robben Island; the Cape Flats; False Bay; the Twelve Apostles (peaks) and Camps Bay. The vista also includes views of Lion's Head and Devil's Peak nearby with the imposing spires of the Drakenstein Mountains in the distance.

ROBBEN ISLAND

For over four centuries, Robben Island has been a place of punishment for exiles and prisoners as well as a place of confinement for lepers, lunatics and the sick. Since 1960, it has become synonymous with the political struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Political prisoners of the past have included Nelson Mandela and poet Dennis Brutus. 
Except for the administrative buildings and prison infrastructure, the island is primarily sand covered with somewhat limited vegetation.  It is home to penguins, seals, chameleons, lizards, snakes, seabirds and a variety of buck. Robben Island hosts about 23 mammals and 132 bird species including the African penguin. Robben Island hosts the third largest colony of African Penguins.
Depart on foot from the ship for the 30-minute leisurely walk to the ferry terminal, located at the Nelson Mandela Gateway. Embark the ferry, which will transfer you to Table Bay to Robben Island in 30 minutes. Upon arrival at the island, board a bus for a 45-minute orientation tour.  Visit the lime quarry, where the former President's eyes were damaged permanently, and where personalities in the struggle were put to back-breaking labor.
Thereafter, join a guided walking tour through the maximum-security block, led by a former political prisoner. A visit to Nelson Mandela's former cell is also included.

KIRSTENBOSCH & CONSTANTIA

From the pier, embark your coach for the 30-minute drive towards the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, skirting the slopes of Devil's Peak en-route. One of the world's most famous Botanical Gardens, Kirstenbosch Gardens is spread over 560 ha on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and contains over 8,500 species of indigenous plants. Take a leisurely stroll through these beautiful surroundings.
From Kirstenbosch, travel through the prestigious suburbs of Bishopscourt and Constantia into the region where South Africa's wine industry began over 3 centuries ago.
Enjoy a formal wine tasting at one of the local wine estates in Constantia. 
Return to the quayside, traveling over Constantia Nek to Hout Bay, before continuing through the Atlantic seaboard suburbs of Camps Bay, Clifton & Bantry Bay en-route.

THE CAPE PENINSULA

Depart the pier for the scenic 2-hour drive to Cape Point Nature Reserve. En route, pass through the suburbs of Green Point and Sea Point to Camps Bay. Continue along the Atlantic seaboard towards Hout Bay, a small fishing village.
From Hout Bay, pass by Chapman's Peak Drive (provided the road is open), and proceed through the seaside residential suburb of Scarborough en-route to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.  It is here that the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, along with their diverse ecosystems, are thought to converge. Cape Point and its dramatic sea cliffs, among South Africa's highest, are main attractions of the reserve.  Upon arrival, ride the funicular railway to the top of Cape Point (provided it's in operation), and take in breathtaking views and photo opportunities.
After lunch at a local restaurant, a visit is made to the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach, followed by a drive through the naval base of Simon's Town to Fish Hoek. From here, continue on to the colorful fishing harbor of Kalk Bay before turning on to Boyes Drive, which offers magnificent views of Muizenberg and False Bay.
Your drive concludes with a visit to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which is spread out over 1,384 acres on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and contains 4, 580 species of indigenous plants.  Following a leisurely stroll amidst these lovely surroundings, re-board your coach for the return drive to the pier.  En route, pass by the University of Cape Town, Rhodes Memorial, Mostert's Mill and famous Groote Schuur Hospital.

Day 3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they are able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
 

Day 4-5 Port Elizabeth

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Discover Port Elizabeth, one of South Africa’s major cities. Located in the province of Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth is nicknamed “The Friendly City”, in reference to the hospitality of its inhabitants. Renowned for the beauty of its beaches, Port Elizabeth is also home to rich wildlife, particularly in the Addo National Park, famous for its elephants. Another key site in the city, the Donkin reserve is a public space home to numerous historic monuments. Port Elizabeth also reflects an important aspect of South African history, through both its colonial heritage and its contemporary history marked by the end of apartheid.

Optional Excursions:

PUMBA GAME RESERVE

From the pier, embark your air-conditioned coach for the 1 ½-hour drive to the Pumba Private Game Reserve. Pumba Private Game Reserve covers over 14,800 acres (6,000 ha) of land and offers the thrilling experience of spotting the “Big Five” in their natural environment:  the African lion, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, the African leopard and the rhinoceros. Pumba covers 5 of the 7 biomes and is the first of the Eastern Cape Game reserves to introduce a White Lion breeding program.
Refreshments are served upon arrival at the lodge, after which you board the four-wheel drive open vehicles for a 2 ½-hour game drive on the reserve, accompanied by experienced rangers. Experience Pumba's abundant game and bird life, whilst taking in the beauty of the Reserve.
Besides the amazing animals, you can find at Pumba Private Game Reserve, for the bird lovers there are over 300 different species of birds. Other animals on the reserve include giraffe, zebra, hippo, cheetah, warthog, hyena, wild dogs and a host of others.
Enjoy a buffet lunch at the reserve, before continuing your game drive en route back to the main gate.
Then return to the quayside in Port Elizabeth by coach.

ADDO ELEPHANT PARK BY FWD VEHICLE

From the pier, embark your air-conditioned coach for the one-hour transfer to the Addo National Park by crossing the Swartkops River and turning inland to the flat valley of the Sunday's River. The Addo Elephant Park, which consists of more of 126,000 acres (51,000 ha) of bush country, is the home to over 450 elephants, which have bred from the few that remained in the area after the herd was almost wiped out by the hired game hunter Major P.J. Pretorius in the 1920s. Although it belongs to the same species as the African Elephant, the reddish Addo Elephant is smaller with more rounded ears, while the females generally have no tusks.
On arrival, board four-wheel drive open-topped vehicles. During your game drive, encounter the Addo elephant as well as a variety of other game, which was recently introduced to the reserve. This includes lion, hyena, cheetah, zebra, eland, kudu, red hartebeest, and wild dogs.

Day 6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they are able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
 

Day 7 Richards Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A simple fishing village in the past, Richards Bay is now South Africa’s second port. Despite the significant development of industrial activity, particularly in terms of mineral extraction, Richards Bay is one of the country’s cleanest and most environmentally responsible towns. Bordering the Indian Ocean, the town is a haunt for water sports enthusiasts. In the heart of the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, nature lovers will be able to observe the wild fauna, made up of crocodiles, hippos and different bird species, as well as rich subtropical flora. Richards Bay is the departure point for many excursions heading off to discover Zulu country.

Optional Excursions: 

SHAKALAND

From the pier, embark your air-conditioned coach for the 1 ½-hour drive via Empangeni to Shakaland, the location where “Shaka Zulu” was filmed.
Upon arrival at Shakaland,  met a Zulu guide and served welcome refreshment. Then be invited to relive the excitement and romance of the days of King Shaka, the King of the Zulus.
The Zulu men show you how to make a spear & shield and how to build a Zulu “beehive” grass hut. Your guide interprets the daily activities and you have the opportunity to view a short audio-visual presentation.
Then be invited into the Chief's Hut, where Zulu dancers perform rhythmic drum dances and tribal members recreate a ritual by the Sangoma (traditional healer).
Following this performance, a traditional Zulu buffet lunch is served.
Some time at leisure to explore the village on your own and to visit the local curio shops.
Return to the quayside in Richards Bay.

HLUHLUWE GAME RESERVE

From the pier, board your air-conditioned coach and travel 1 ½ hour in a northerly direction along the national road. Your journey ends upon arrival at Memorial Gate, where a short comfort stop is made before embarking your open safari vehicle. From here begins your unforgettable adventure tour in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve.
The reserve preserves not only the wildlife of Zululand but also something of an indefinable charm and tradition of the natural surroundings. This is truly one fascinating part of Africa.
The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve has become well known for its small population of the rare, white rhino. In addition to rhino, the reserve has a spectacular variety of bird and animal life, including elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, blue wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, cheetah, mountain reedbuck, kudu, and warthog.
During your 2-hour game drive, you may have the opportunity to encounter many of these beautiful animals close up.
At the end of your game drive, you can return to Memorial Gate and re-board your vehicle for your transfer back to the quayside in Richards Bay.
 
ST. LUCIA

Depart the pier by air-conditioned coach for the 1 ½-hour drive north to the beautiful Isimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site. Upon arrival in St Lucia Town, embark your boat for a leisurely 2-hour cruise on Lake St Lucia. The vessel goes at walking speed all along the shoreline of the St Lucia Estuary, and the enthusiastic captain tells you more about the hippos and Nile crocodiles that inhabit St Lucia. The lake has the largest concentration of hippo in South Africa.
This is home to about 2,000 Nile crocodiles, 800 hippos and about 526 different kinds of bird species, of which a favorite is the African Fish Eagle and the Mangrove Kingfisher. Learn more about the mangrove swamps and the five different ecosystems of the St Lucia Estuary.
Intermittent stops at the sightings ensure that you can get good photographic opportunities and you are guaranteed to at least see plenty hippo throughout this trip from up close.
Upon return from your boat cruise, return drive to the quayside in Richard's Bay.

Day 8 Durban

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As your vessel cruises along the coast of Durban, from the exterior decks, you are able to admire the long beaches washed by waves from the Indian Ocean and the skyscrapers that overlook the jacaranda-lined avenues. Not far from there, be captivated by the Valley of a Thousand Hills, the ancestral land of the Zulu people. The undulating, soft green hills are home to a multitude of small villages with traditional round huts. In the heart of the Phezulu Safari Park, the beliefs and rituals of the fascinating Zulu culture are revealed to you and you are treated to a show that pulsates to the beat of Zulu drums.

Optional Excursions: 

PIETERMARITZBURG & BOTANICAL GARDENS

Depart the quayside and travel one hour inland, into the beautiful hills of Kwazulu Natal towards Pietermaritzburg.  A city encompassing all its old world charm, country living and beautiful Victorian architecture, now a modern South African town, home to over 600 000 people of diverse cultures and the second largest in this province.
On arrival, visit the Natal Museum. One of five national museums in South Africa, it was designed by EJ Wellman in 1904. There are spectacular sections which include African mammals, snakes, birds, reptiles and amphibians, fish, insects, geology, and paleontology. The ethnology display contains fascinating items from many regions of Africa. Old guns from a Portuguese shipwreck on the Wild Coast are attracting interested admirers. A replica of a bushman cave contains drawings of rock-art that can be interpreted.
Continue with a panoramic drive through Pietermaritzburg, viewing Churchill Square, the City Hall, allegedly largest red brick building in the southern hemisphere, as well as the Assembly Building and the Supreme Court. Also learn about Mahatma Gandhi's famous incident here while viewing his bronze statue at the Square.
Continue to the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden. The beautiful and tranquil garden specializes in the conservation of plants from the eastern region of South Africa and of rare and endangered species from elsewhere. Established in 1874, the Garden's Victorian past is evident in its magnificent specimens of northern hemisphere plants, such as the swamp cypress, tulip trees, camphor trees, plane trees, giant figs, and magnolias. One of the finest features of the Garden is the avenue of London Plane trees, which has been stunning visitors since 1908. 

SCENES OF DURBAN

From the pier, embark your coach for the scenic drive following the palm tree-lined Victoria Embankment, passing the Vasco Da Gama Clock, the Dick King Statue, the imposing Durban Club and the Yacht Club. Continue to Currie Hill, stopping briefly to take in the panoramic views of the City.
From here, it is a short drive to the Durban Botanical Gardens. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens, which besides housing a wide variety of local flora are also very well-known for their orchid house and rare collection of cycads, a plant that dates back to prehistoric times.
After this visit, drive to the Moses Mabhida Stadium for a photo stop before making your way along the "Golden Mile" (beachfront), where Zulus, resplendent in their colorful regalia, transport visitors in their colorful rickshaws. Also pass by the Juma Mosque, which is reputedly the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and is famous for its massive golden dome and turrets. 
Pay a visit to the Victoria Street Market, commonly known as the Indian Market, to browse amidst delicately fashioned ornaments and other exotic objects. Eastern and African aromas envelop you as you wander past herb and spice stalls or sort through baskets of delightful wooden carvings. Bargains are endless and you will have a brief time to shop independently.
Return to the quayside, passing the Old Market Square and the City Hall en-route.

ZULU CULTURE & REPTILES

At the Valley of 1 000 Hills, meet modern and olden day African tribal culture in the traditional and spectacular homeland of the Zulu.  As you journey into the valley you can learn how historically these tranquil rolling hills belie the blood-soaked drama that unfolded almost two centuries ago when the Zulu King Shaka, known to historians as the 'Black Napoleon', subjugated the tribes that today make up the Kingdom of the Zulu.
A one-hour drive from the port brings you to Phezulu Safari park. This tour creates the opportunity to discover at first hand the intricacies, ethnic customs and beliefs of the Zulu peoples. Here Zulu tales and history depicted in energetic, costumed song and dance by the renowned Gasa clan, who have been performing unique plays for over 40 years. Dances of courtship and betrothal, of the throwing of the sangoma's (witch doctor) bones, of war and of birth, set to the mesmerizing beat of the Zulu drum, takes you into another world.
Be introduced to Phezulu's impressive reptile park, taking home vivid images of some of Africa's most renowned snakes and learning about the crocodiles. Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and some home-made scones before returning via the national highway to the pier in Durban.

Day 9 Durban, South Africa | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark after breakfast and continue your independent trip back home. 

Le Lyrial (CDP)

Per person starting at
$3,640
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Superior Stateroom
Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, desk, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. balcony located on Deck 3. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, desk, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
35 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
37 cabins, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
1 cabin, 200 sq. ft. + 43 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Deluxe Suite
3 cabins on Deck 6, 290 sq. ft. + 54 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually-controlled A/C, en suite shower, sofa, armchair and pedestal table, Wi-Fi access, TV, and stereo.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
11 cabins, 398 sq. ft + 86 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with shower, desk, sofa, armchair & table, 2 TVs, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Privilege Suite on the Le Lyrial
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Privilege Suite
8 cabins, 398 sq. ft + 86 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with shower, desk, sofa, armchair & table, 2 TVs, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Cabins on the Le Lyrial
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Grand Deluxe Suite
1 cabin, 484 sq. ft. + 96 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with jacuzzi and shower, desk, TV, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Grand Privilege Suite on the Le Lyrial
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Grand Privilege Suite
7 cabins, 398 sq. ft. + 86 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with bathtub and shower, desk, minibar, TV, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.
Owner's Suite on the Le Lyrial
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Owner Suite
On Deck 6, 592 sq. ft. + 129 sq. ft. private balcony. Individually controlled A/C, ensuite bathroom with jacuzzi and shower, desk, sofa, table with 4 chairs, armchair and table, 2 televisions, stereo, Satellite telephone, Wi-Fi access.

Notes

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:

  • All meals while on board the ship 

  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner

  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)

  • Evening entertainment and events

  • 24h Room service (special selection)

  • English speaking lecturer 

  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite

  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 

  • Park entry fees into protected areas

  • Complimentary boot rental on select cruises



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  •  

Cruise fares do not include:
 

  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned 

  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned

  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable

  • Luggage handling

  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers

  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure

  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned

  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments

  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions

  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)



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Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Molly H

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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